Uruguayan food is characterized by the inclusion of great amount of meat particularly beef owing to the predominant livestock population in the country. With traditional roots from European counterparts particularly, Spain, France, Italy and Portugal the cuisine showcases an array of dishes from cakes, soups, cookies, meat preparations, confectionaries and drinks. Popular Uruguayan recipes include - Asado, Choripán, Empanada, Fainá and Pancho.
Historical and Cultural Influences on Uruguayan Cuisine
Uruguayan food is also influenced by the European countries of Britain and Germany as well as indigenous and African combinations. A lot of Uruguayan recipes influenced by other countries include sausages, pasta and desserts.
Ingredients Commonly Used in Uruguayan Cuisine
Many of Uruguayan food preparations make use of beef as the major ingredient leading Uruguay as the largest beef consumer across the globe. Apart from beef, other ingredients used in Uruguay cuisine include-
Vegetables such as potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sweet pepper, onions, spinach, carrots, etc., Fruits include Mediterranean fruits such as oranges, lemon, apples, dates, figs, apricots. Dulce de Leche refers to a fruit paste had with bread.
Meat- Beef happens to be the staple one although other meats such as lamb and chicken are consumed in sparse amounts.
Cooking Methods Adopted by Uruguayan Cuisine
Uruguayan food preparations make use of regular and basic cooking methods including steaming, boiling and frying. Baking is also employed in a traditional way to prepare cakes, cookies and puddings. Meat preparations follow Mediterranean cooking methods such as grilling, roasting and braising.
Uruguayan Cuisine preparations Popular in Foreign Culture
· Asado refers to a Uruguayan dish made by grilling beef on top of coals (which is more or less barbecue) and the dish is also called "tira de asado".
· Chivito refers to a sandwich consisting of steak, cheese, ham, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
· Empanada refers to a turnover or small pie, most often stuffed with ham, meat or cheese.
· Fainá refers to a combination of chickpea flour, water, salt and olive oil, earlier known as "farinata" made resembling a pizza over a flat tray.
· Pancho happens to be a typical Uruguayan hot dog with a bun known as "pan de Viena" stuffed with a "Frankfurter" along with ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise or "salsa golf" over top.
· Alfajores a Uruguayan food refer to shortbread cookies, attached together by Dulce de Leche the traditional fruit paste.
· Bizcochos refer to a buttery flaky pastry in several variants with the croissants as the most popular.